The line between the digital and physical worlds continues to blur, as evidenced by the buzz
surrounding 3D printing’s
ability to transform computerized renderings into tangible objects. And, since people are now reliant on technology for most everything they do, the one-dimensionality of analog products is leaving them, well, a bit flat. However, several new devices are designed to change all that by giving new “life” to formerly inert objects.
There’s now an easy way to know if one’s dog is snacking in the shoe closet or if the laundry is done. Twine
is a new device that enables everyday household objects to tweet, email or text alerts. The 2.5 inch square box
contains an accelerometer, temperature monitor, moisture sensor, and other external sensors that recognize surrounding activity. When it’s plugged in, it automatically recognizes a corresponding online application and reacts to what the sensors are “seeing” in real time. By setting up rules based on a menu of conditions and actions, users can go about their lives without having to worry about, say, a flooded basement.
Who hasn’t experienced the frustration of tearing one’s home apart in search of misplaced keys? BiKN
is a gadget that works with the iPhone to locate missing items—or small children
—via radio signals. Users simply fasten the thumb-sized BiKN tags to frequently lost objects. Then, by pairing the system’s RF-enabled iPhone case with the BiKN app, a display shows how far they are from the tagged objects. Items can even be “leashed” so that if they go outside of a set perimeter, an alarm will sound. And, for anyone who’s more inclined to lose their cell phone than their keys, the two-way system can be reversed to track the lost device.